Maine uses a multi-stage licensing process for teens. This system allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time.
At age 15, teens can apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Maine. To do so, teens under 18 must provide a birth certificate, Social Security number, and an application which must be signed by a parent or guardian. Teens must pass a written test and a vision screening test. Teens must also have passed an approved driver education course. Learner’s permits are valid for 24 months.
With a learner’s permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver at least 20 years of age who has held a valid license for at least two years. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 70 hours, including 10 hours at night, before they’re allowed an intermediate license. (Keep track of your teen’s practice driving with Maine’s Driving Log.)
At age 16, if teens have had a learner’s permit for at least 6 months and completed 70 hours of practice driving, they may apply for an intermediate license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test and provide proof of practice driving time.
An intermediate license holder is allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. The driver is also prohibited from using a cell phone and is prohibited from driving with passengers for at least 270 days, except for immediate family members or a foreign exchange student who is living with the immediate family. The passenger limit and night limit do not apply when a teen driver is accompanied by a driver age 20 years or older who has been licensed for at least 2 years and is seated in the front seat.
Teens that have held an intermediate license for at least 270 days are eligible for a full unrestricted license**. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.
Consider using a parent-teen driving agreement to help enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
The Secretary of State, through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), is in charge of licensing for all drivers. The BMV conducts the written permit exam for those over 18, certifies driver education schools to conduct permit exams for those attending driver education classes and conducts all road tests needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.
**Under Main law, those young drivers who obtain their license before the age of 21 are considered juvenile provisional.